Learn Yoga with the Plank Pose

Edited by HealthNut, Eng, VisiHow

Plank Pose or, as it is most commonly known, The Plank, is a beginner yoga pose that most people can master with relative ease, as most people have actually attempted The Plank during exercise at some point in their lives. Plank Pose has many variations that people use to mainly tone their stomachs to varying degrees. The Side Plank is another common variation of this pose.

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Aside from the stomach-toning qualities of the pose, the pose also helps to strengthen your arms, wrists and your spine at the same time. However, if you are known to suffer from the carpal tunnel syndrome, it is recommended that you do not attempt the pose as it can seriously injure your wrists.

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What equipment will you need to get started?

  • This pose can be performed anywhere; however, as this pose adds pressure on the wrists, it is recommended that you purchase a yoga mat to place your hands on.
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  • Some stretchy yoga trousers or leggings.
  • A baggy shirt or a vest that allows you to make maximum use of your arm movement.

Plank Pose Step-by-Step

  1. 1
    Follow our step by step guide on how to warm up before yoga.
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  2. 2
    Begin this pose in the Downward-Facing Dog Position.
    Then on your next inhale, push your chest outwards until your arms are perpendicular to the floor. Your shoulders should then be directly over your wrists, and your chest should be parallel to the floor.
    Learn Yoga with the Plank Pose 54633.jpg
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  3. 3
    Push the outside of your arms inwards and turn up the bottoms of your index fingers to the floor.
    Press your shoulder blades against your back and then push them away from your spine. Try to spread your collarbones away from your sternum as much as you can. Don't force it if this is too difficult though.
    Learn Yoga with the Plank Pose 24997.jpg
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  4. 4
    Stretch the front part of your thighs upwards towards the ceiling but create a tension with your coccyx and resist the urge to push it upwards as well, instead pushing it towards the floor as it stretches down towards your feet.
    Raise the base of your skull from the back of your neck and stretch it out; so, you should now be looking directly at the floor. You should not strain your throat and eyes while doing this: try to keep them as soft as possible.
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  5. 5
    Hold this pose for between 30 seconds to a minute.
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  6. 6
    Remember to cool down.
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Variations on this pose:

  • Plank Pose is part of a famous sequence of yoga poses known as the Sun Salutation sequence. The pose can, of course, be performed on its own; but it works very well with some of the other poses in the sequence, for example, Mountain Pose and Cobra Pose.
  • There are also a number of ways to modify the pose itself. You can choose to do this pose with your index fingers and thumbs pressed up against a wall. When you breathe in and push your chest forwards, press the crown of your head against the wall as well. Then, use the pressure this creates on your head and the wall to relax your shoulder blades back down onto your back.
  • If you're struggling with the pose and need help to strengthen your arms while doing the pose, get a yoga strap and place it around your upper arm above your elbows. Then push your inner arms outwards against the strap. Then, relax your arms from your shoulders to the floor and lift your inner arms from the top of your index fingers to your shoulders.
  • Once you've mastered the basics of the pose, you can further open the space between your shoulder blades. As you tense the outside of your arms towards your torso, push your shoulder blades against this. While you are doing this, ensure that you do not narrow the space between your collarbones.
  • There are also a number of variations for the pose. There is a one-legged version of the plank. As you get into the pose, breathe in and lift one leg so that it then becomes parallel to the floor. Push out with the heel of your raised leg and push the top of your head forwards. As you do this, ensure your coccyx is pushed downwards towards your pubis area and not relaxed. Hold this position for 10 - 30 seconds. Then, breathe out and bring that leg back down onto the floor and raise the other leg to place it in the same position. Repeat it with the other leg for the same amount of time before moving on or cooling down.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Eng, HealthNut

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